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[T.E.L.L. January Summary] Save Time Online

Jan 31 marked the launch of T.E.L.L.: Tuesdays with ETUG Lunch n’ Learn.
T.E.L.L. is a new series of lunchtime webinars held on the last Tuesday of the month to provide an opportunity for members to present workshops and share materials they’ve developed to a wider community, the ETUG community.
The session, “Strategies for Effective and Efficient Course Design and Online Teaching”, was facilitated by Amanda Coolidge, Instructional Designer at Royal Roads University and Chair of the Steering Committee for ETUG. The webinar was attended by 30 participants.
Amanda gave great ideas for time saving course design strategies including:

  • Provide a detailed course outline/overview to clearly communicate expectations
  • Provide a set of frequently asked questions or FAQs
  • Identify assignment turnaround
  • Identify more demanding periods of the course
Participants chimed in with their suggestions for time saving tips for course design: avoid specific dates and encourage instructors not to put their name everywhere to better facilitate re purposing of the course.

To better utilize everyone’s time, schedule office hours in a way that is targeted and specific. For example, identify when:

  • you will be online to review the course
  • you will have virtual hours (in Collaborate for example)
  • you will set aside office hours to discuss a particular topic or more challenging part of the course
  • students want office hours – find out by polling them. Tools suggested in our our group discussion: Doodle or Google survey

For help with managing questions, discussion forums are a good thing to setup in anticipation of areas where support may be needed:

  • Ask a librarian
  • Ask a a team coach
  • Ask a Program Associate
  • FAQ list

Other time saving ideas from session participants: have clear course objectives, re purpose and re purpose, use templates and tools like Jing to create videos for more difficult to explain problems.
In preparation for this workshop, Amanda interviewed two Royal Road University instructors for their strategies for assessment in online courses. Their tips include:  write a very clear assignment description, give generalized feedback with specific examples from student’s work, link feedback to learning outcomes, give a midterm quiz to gauge understanding of assigned text and use template responses and then personalize and tweak them. (See Slide 10)
Our group shared additional assessment strategies including asking students who have done well to share tips with other students.
Amanda also suggested two additional ideas to try out  for assessment: voice feedback on assignments or the 1 minute paper.  Participants suggested that Jing or Evernote tools could be used for this purpose or exploring the use of Nanogong in Moodle.
For managing online workload strategies, more great tips were given (See Slide 13). The advice that stood out from one instructor: Don’t comment on every post and don’t read everything!  Another suggestion:  setup student teams to help summarize discussions on a weekly basis. In addition, Amanda advises to know on onset of a course who to contact for assistance, especially for technical help. Have those critical contact numbers ready!
As a final note, we were reminded to be careful of the “urgency addiction”. Referring to Stephen Covey’s Quadrant for time management: strive to stay in the “Important and Not-urgent” zone.
So there you have it. Our first ETUG Lunch n’ Learn done! The hour just flew by.
Recording no longer available.

See more Open Educational Resources from Royal Roads University http://oer.royalroads.ca

Early feedback is that participants really liked the quick and easy-to-do format focused on things we can put into practice immediately.  We look forward to our next session on Tuesday Feb.28th noon – 1 pm.
Interested in facilitating a T.E.L.L. Tuesdays with ETUG Lunch n’ Learn?  If so, get in touch!  Email: leva.lee@bccampus.ca
This series is part of Opening Education, a BCcampus initiative to bring together individuals in open educational curriculum development, publishing, teaching, and administrative practices.

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